Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 462 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev +3%
Has to be among the most anticipated release of a beer. Every year, this beer offers many suprises. This year's is not different. Large amount of sweetness, tartness, fruitiness, and luster jumps out immediately...and I haven't even poured it into a glass yet. The beer pours a deep, dark, purple, ruby hue and releases a dense brown-ish head that stands the durration perfectly. Decorated with pepery spices and sprinkles. Aromas seem very complex with an abundance of caramelized malt sweetness, and a heavy dosage of every spice known to mankind. Tastes even better. Big on the sweetness, but not overly thick. Spices compliment the belgian tartness very well without distraction. Fruity with all dark, dehydrated fruits from cherries to prunes to licorice to black berries... Alcohols are assertive all along the way, becoming a bit fusal in the end. Almost a caugh syrup flavor and feel. The body is full, rich, and bold. Coats the mouth with a bready, velvety layer that I find pleasant, then cut through with the alcohols and tartness. Expectibly (because of its youth), the beer is a bit harsh on the alcohols and hop character, but is sure to meld in the years to come. In fact, I was surprised the beer did not taste more 'green' than it did. Father time will be very kind to this beer.
07-01-2006 18:37:00 | More by BEERchitect
3.53/5 rDev -11.3%
22 oz botella that I bought last week. Drank a bit too cold in the beginning but after the last snifter full when it warmed up a bit more things became apparent with this beer.
A: poured very dark, almost black but when I held it up to the light I could see the edging of the glass to exhibit a very dark red hue. Head fell shortly after its creation, only leaving a small top "cream" layer with some minor lacing along the edges of the Palm snifter.
S: could detect some coffee notes in the aroma, but thats all I could put my finger on for the moment. Perhaps when I drink the second bottle next year I will detect a few more matured tasty smells. For a Strong Belgian Ale, it didnt really have that -OH bite to it, perhaps due to its relatively low AC% (when compared to others in this style).
T: again, here the complexity was not truely there yet, a few years of maturation will bring out the more woody, burned detections. I could taste the malt though, along with some coffee/caramels in there intermingled with a tad small revelation of alcohol...but not overwhelming at all. Age will only help mellow that and make it a bit sweeter as well.
M/D: the carbonation keeps it lighter than it looks in the snifter. As some in this style tend to be much "thicker" tasting. When you drink it you can feel the carbonation in your mouth. I dont know yet if thats a good or bad thing.
Overall, a slightly better than average beer tasting this go around. I imagine the trueness of this beer will become apparent and revealed as the years pass by. I had recently drank a Hertog Jan Grand Prestige that was a 2004 vintage, and being of the same style, really set the mark for me as it was a thicker maltier beer that had more complexity to its taste. I imagine this one to show the same characteristics when in its prime. I look forward to tasting it next year and the following 5-6 years to come. Good thing I bought 10 bottles of it :)
07-01-2006 05:35:49 | More by Solomon420
3.88/5 rDev -2.5%
I love that the price for a 22oz is $6.66...although my wallet isn't too fond of it. The very spartan bottle Stone uses for their Verticals is a look that's not usual for their in-your-face attitude, but I like it.
A - Very dark body with a 1 finger off-white head.
S - Roasty, coffee, malty.
T - At first it seems very cidery, more so than I expected. But the malty sweet goodness slides in to replace it fairly quickly. The alcohol is also present and accounted for here in the flavor.
M - Full bodied as you'd expect a belgian dark to be.
D - Not as drinkable IMO as I'd hoped. But then my tongue is not accustomed to this style as it is to others. Definitely more drinkable than average.
07-01-2006 02:18:26 | More by JayTheFinn
3.93/5 rDev -1.3%
22 oz bomber with a vintage date of 06.06.06
A- Great lacing, leaves tan rings on the glass. Dark leather brown color, nearly black.
S- Dark sugar and malt aroma, faint suggestions of clove and anise. Mild roasted grain bite similar to a slightly acidic coffee bean.
T&M- Amazingly smooth with an ample crispness in a full body. Suggestions of cocoa powder, coffee, anise, clove, walnuts, thyme with a rounded maltiness. Maltiness is a tad sugary ... brown sugar to be exact which becomes sandwiched by a bitter hop and a slightly hot alcohol.
D- Pretty damn tasty, great to try but I think some time in the bottle will prove it to be a better beer.
07-01-2006 01:42:22 | More by Jason
4.03/5 rDev +1.3%
Stone- 06.06.06 Vertical Epic
Appearance- dark brown almost black with a huge thick tan head. sticky lacing down the entire glass.
Smell- roasted hops ash, charcoal, cherry, raisin, banana.
Taste- like a blend of Stout and Belgium ale. Strong roasted flavor blending quite evenly with fruit tones. Raisin, cherry, and banana flavors come through.
Mouthfeel- strong burnt flavors at first but quickly flipping over to equally strong fruit flavors. Slighty strong in alcohol but not overpowering.
Overall- A nice Belgium that has a big flavor and a bit of a kick. A very good sipper!!
06-30-2006 20:55:49 | More by NJpadreFan
4.3/5 rDev +8%
A: Pours a stout-colored black with a tan 1-finger head that quickly subsides. Very little lacing.
S: Aromas of dark fruits, Belgian yeast, and anise.
T: Very unique flavor - like a Belgian version of an imperial stout. Roasted malt, bready yeast, and anise flavors meld to create complex and multi-dimensional taste.
M: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation.
D: What an interesting hybrid of styles. I'm really liking this one. Go get some.
06-30-2006 01:14:43 | More by klewis
4.1/5 rDev +3%
A- Dark brown to black. Almost opaque with a thin tan head.
S- Excellent aromas of dark fruits,roasty malt, cedar, anise and other spices.
T- Excellent balance of deep, rich barley and spicy, floral wheat. Nice hop bitterness rounds out the taste profile. Dark fruits; Raisins, plums.
MF- Medium bodied despite a high gravity. Slight alcohol warmth.
D- Overall a good dark belgian strong or maybe a dubble(?).
06-29-2006 23:56:31 | More by BillyB
4.4/5 rDev +10.6%
purchased in june, consumed in june. fresh.
pours a dark mass into my allagash tulip. bright sun behind it draws out some reddish chestnutty highlights in the narrower part of the glass. velvety rootbeer head vanishes quick but leaves behind a tight thin layer.. much like the cascading, thick lace when i turn my glass.
aroma is a nice balance of darker wheat maltiness and fruity belgian esters. the wheat is more pronounced, and at times this beer (especially with warmth) smells like a weizenbock. but then you have some cherry compote and brown burnt sugar in there that echo flanders. interesting.
first sip brings joy to my senses.. this beer is great! don't get me wrong, i expected decent, but i haven't orgasmed over any of the vertical epics so far. this one is easily the best of the bunch. dry nuttiness with hints of wine-like tart yeast. finish draws out some more belgian dark fruit character, but doesn't overbear the drinker with sweetness. after drinking the adirondack abbey ale from new york, i am impressed to have found two beers in a row that allow the consumer to enjoy rich belgian flavors without any of the heavy candi sugar presence or an excess of phenolics. i keep sipping this, and for 8.6%, it goes down wicked easy.
this is a perfect belgian for slight experimentation on a summer day as i find it strangely refreshing in its crispness. i'm not sure how this one will age though.. doesn't seem like it has the juice to turn into anything but a mess. we'll see, won't we, in 2012.
06-28-2006 23:00:59 | More by goodbyeohio
3.95/5 rDev -0.8%
Aroma: Belgian yeast, dark ripened fruits, banana, a touch of cloves, and some esters.
Appearance: Shoe leather brown opaque pour with a fluffy tan head. The head disappears too quickly and leaves minimal lacing around the glass.
Flavor: Cocoa powder, bananas, cloves, pears, white raisins, some carmel, and a spicyness rounds things out. Pretty complex and it changes character with each sip. Some a little sweeter others a bit more toward the bitter chocolate end.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation, and a dry, slippery finish.
Overall impression: I can't see this lasting until 2012 but maybe I'm just missing something. I'm sure the spices and darker malts will help it age but the body and carbonation just seemed to low to stand the test of time. I say drink it now. Overall, a pretty decent offering from Stone.
06-28-2006 01:32:17 | More by mattcrill
4.1/5 rDev +3%
poured from the 22 oz. bottle to a goblet:
A: Deep brown with tinges of copper/burgundy at the edges. Thin off-white head with a bit of lacing.
S: Heady smell that's dark and toasty, Belgian yeasts, clove, spice, baked bread ... my first sniff reminded me off the baking semolina dough at a favorite local pizzaria. Noticed some alcohol, too. Complex.
T: Not quite as challenging as the smell, but definitely good flavors. Lots of fruit and noticeable alcohol presence. Sweet & malty initially but a more bitter coffee/chocolate-like finish.
M: Creamy but a little clingy with a lingering bitterness. Pretty heavily carbonated
D: A very good beer, one that will improve with time I'm sure. I enjoyed sipping this one but actually didn't finish the whole bottle in one sitting.
06-27-2006 17:35:52 | More by msubulldog25
4.68/5 rDev +17.6%
A: Pours very dark, with a generous dark tan head. Looks beautiful.
S: This is one complex brew, and it can be seen in the smell: Fruity esters--mostly apple and banana--are evident. Funky Belgian yeast qualities are also strong, but not overpowering. Chocolate is present. Rich dark malt, and a hint of beef jerky. Great blend of smells in this boquet.
T: Absolutely incredible. This style is becoming one of my favorites. At first the rich dark malt makes an appearence--smooth, and it coats the tongue. Then meat and chocolate come into play. Medium-low sweetness. Low bitterness. Funky Belgian yeast and fruitiness are noticeable but subdued for the style. This beer defenitely showcases rich malt. Quite complex. Several layers of flavor.
M: Strong carbonation. Medium body. I had to swish the beer around in my glass to get the carbonation to where I like it. Coats mouth well. Smooth. Finishes slightly sweet.
D: Very drinkable. Alc content is well hidden. Nothing sticking out here, everything is very well balanced. I could have more than one bomber of this in a night no problem.
In my opinion, this is a must try, even if you don't care for this style. Stone is an amazing brewery, and this beer lives up to the reputation
06-26-2006 14:49:29 | More by Jarhead271
3.35/5 rDev -15.8%
Nearly black in color with light only shining through on the lighter, garnet colored edges. Dense light tan head left behind some nice lacing. Spicy scents of roasted malts, licorice, cloves, a bit smokey as well. Taste consists of dried dark fruit, coffee, chocolate and alcohol. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Compared to the 05.05.05 I had before this, the 06.06.06 should get better with some time in the cellar.
06-26-2006 13:53:13 | More by Imstillthegman
4.03/5 rDev +1.3%
Another in a long line of outstanding stone products. Sleek but refined graphics on the bottle. Large head, thin coating of lace, and eventually falls to a topper. Dark body, looks rich.
If I had to compare it to another beer I'd say its very similair to the Gouden Carolus Grand Cru....Identical? of course not, but similair non the less in my experience. It's a belgian strong dark that has some balls so to speak. It has all the qualities you'd expect. Rich, Cloves, Dark fruits, etc. But what this has that the others don't is a scent and taste of smoke....yes smoke. It becomes bitter in the back corner of my mouth, more towards the finish. Aftertaste is lingering and the alcohol will sit for a bit to reflect on its naughty past. Rich Plumbs really take center stage as it warmed.
Notes: Its really good. Far from great. Cellared 8 and hopefully one will make it for the tasting in 2012.
06-26-2006 03:31:49 | More by DogFood11
4.3/5 rDev +8%
A: Dark brown, almost black in my chimay glass, with a half a pinky sized ligh brown head that shows good lacing.
S: Roasted, toasty malts that smell nice with, slight spice, overly ripe fruit(plum), licorice, and a tiny bit of alcohol.
T/MF/D: Solid medium body with the toasted malts leading the way followed by a swarm of fruity, wheat dopplebock flavors, but ends with a lingering, anise, and bready flavor that is nice. Moderatly carbonated which leaves a solid mouthfeel that makes this beer enjoyabe. Slight warming and tannic behavior is there also. All in all i liked this beer alot. It seems that the edges have to be rounded with aging to truely make this beer "Epic". Then again the bottle itself says "specifically designed to be aged until sometime after december 12 2012"...
06-26-2006 03:24:51 | More by mattpetti
3.9/5 rDev -2%
22 oz. bottle. Best by 12/12/12.
Pours almost pitch black into my chalice. Topped by a quarter inch of tightly packed tan head.
Caramelized sugar, figs, chocolate, hints of coffee, overripened fruit.
Relatively smooth with overtones of ripe dark fruit, though no one flavor pops out. Slightly hot alcohol tinge indicates this one could cellar a little more. Chocolate and coffee appear by midsip. Finish is bitter chocolate.
I almost had a heart attack when I found out the NY distribution for Stone was gone, but managed to track down 1/2 case in Boston for the beer fest (Bauer Wine & Spirits, a must visit). Not the best Epic, but I'm glad I have it.
06-25-2006 22:05:06 | More by cbl2
4/5 rDev +0.5%
This finally made it to OH around June 22. I brought a bottle to a poker game to let everyone try it. I think I was the only one who liked it...
It smelled and tasted like a wiezenbock, I swear that's the style they were shooting for. The color was right (dark ruby brownish or burgandy) and the aroma was wheaty yeasty. The flavors were like dark candy and fruits like licorice, raisins, and figs. I knocked the drinkability because the aftertaste was a little burnt, giving a not good pucker.
I kept another bottle to cellar for a while.
06-24-2006 22:20:44 | More by TurdFurgison
4.25/5 rDev +6.8%
Bomber into my Delirium Tremens glass. Figured it's best to take this guy really slow. It's been in the fridge for hours, so we'll see what happens as it warms and I drink.
Appearance: Seemingly opaque at first until the light, from far away, shines through it a bit, making it a deep, dark amber color. Huge head at first, slowly dissipating, with a nice ring around the edge of the beer, and some round clumps of wet lacing around the glass too.
Smell: I'm a huge fan of the bubblegum from the yeast strains, and this one packs a lot in there, so of course I'm down. There's also, at the colder temperature, a presence of anise. Not as much as a glass of ouzo, which is good because it's subtle, but it's definitely there. As it's warming I'm getting some brown sugar and banana. Are there some sour cherries in there too?
Taste: Some charcoal, candi sugar, bubblegum, slightly bitter hops, plum, slight anise, toasted malts, strong Belgian yeast. I love the originality here, the toasted malts, hops-as-needed, and insanely huge bubblegum backbone. I'd say if you were put off by the bubblegum this may not be your thing, but I really dig it, at least at this stage in its greenness. Finish is mild medicinal phenols, lingering hops, and, yes, bubblegum, with a little banana on there too. Also some charcoal. Long, distinct, fulfilling. And yes, maybe still a little green, but if this only gets better, watch out.
Mouthfeel: Awesome fullness and creaminess and not sugary or cloying at all. If this is only going to improve, then it may become pure silk.
Drinkability: I have two bottles of the 05.05.05 sitting in the cellar, and I'm glad I do, as I really want to see how it ages. And I have one bottle of the 06.06.06 still left (though I'll probably be buying more). A few years and I'd imagine the flavor to really do some insanely nice things. For now, though, it's a great brew, and like no other attempt at a Belgian I've ever had. Worth the $7-$8 a bottle for sure in my book.
06-24-2006 04:28:19 | More by asabreed
3.98/5 rDev 0%
this is my first edition of the vertical epic series.
22 oz. bomber pored into a snifter. this brew poures a nice dark dark brown - almost black with ruby red highlights. moderate small tan head that fades away to some decent lacing.
smell is very bubble gummy. yeasty and spicey. hints of chocolate and alcohol in the background.
tastes a little mediciney. very fruity overall, however. light chocolate malts and a little sourness.
big thick mouthfeel. one of the thickest i've ever had.
a fairly drinkable brew for being young. i'd give it a half a year or so to mature and it'll be much more drinkable. still a fine beer.
06-23-2006 05:46:22 | More by deuschbag
3.23/5 rDev -18.8%
I'm guessing this is one to lay down.
Pours mahogany to black with a .5" tan head.
Smell: Slight fruittyness, alcohol & yeast. Slight leather & wood notes
Taste: Slight sourness, yeast, raisins, slight chocolate notes in an unorganized mish-mash. Finishes with an alcohol burn & a yeast/bready twang, plus licorice
MF: Super chewy & slightly under carbonated
A chore to drink, maybe this will turn into a classic over time, not sure I can wait.
06-23-2006 04:48:10 | More by russpowell
4/5 rDev +0.5%
A - Its a nice deep adrk brown with a little bit of off white head that laces slighty. there are copper highlights around the edge.
S - It starts out with a mixed aroma of orange peel, roasted malt, chocolate and some alcohol.
T Taste is of dark sweet roasted malts and some citrusy orange peel. It really is rather easy on the palette.
M - The mought feel starts of with a full bodied feel, with a slight bitter/carbination mix.It finishes slightly dry but there is still some residue on the tounge.
D - The isnt very overpowering, which makes it very drinkable for the style.
06-22-2006 00:33:14 | More by quasimoto
4.18/5 rDev +5%
Saw the sign of the beast with this one on 6/21/2006. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in an Arrogant Bastard shaker glass.
Very thin initial head, maybe 1/8-inch, that quiets to some wood shavings, largely piled on the edges. Fine sheet of stick as the pour goes further down. Hue is medium to light brown, darker at its core, with not a whole lot of noticeable action happening; fairly quiet. The nose is difficult to determine; some rock candy, caramel, charcoal, sugar cane, and the cathedral vault vacuousness that accompanies Belgian-style ales of this type. Dark fruits invade the tongue, composed of prunes, raisins, some fruity craisins, smoky apple wood (like barbecue chips). A tangy sweetness pulls through at the tail end, slightly sour.
Good stuff. Wonder what it will be like six and a half years from now.
06-21-2006 23:33:50 | More by Truh
3.85/5 rDev -3.3%
$6.99 a bottle at HiTime Wine Cellar. Bottle blabs about being chapter 5 in a 10 chapter series. (Other reviews indicate that their botle states fourth.) This Belgian Strong claims to be 8.66% with the identical yeast as 03.03.03.
Pours eggplant violet black with only thin glints of violet light splinters along the side of the glass against the light. An instantly settled collar stands atop a solid frozen offering.
Nose is a piquant liquorice and cocoa stab with some Dr. Pepper thrown in for good measure. Spices abound with clove and banana aspects via a deep Belgian yeast like rye bread.
First swigs: Dusty dry woody sawdust with a black liquorice and black cherry. Some overripe banana and even a charcoal tobacco flavor too. Abit overwhelming with an intensity that paints the tongue with palate paste. Copious amounts of wet bread dough flavor and an onslaught of flavor avalanche here. Big flavor.
Feel is a touch sugary thick with too much yeasty characteristics. I might have enjoyed this more if it were a touch lighter overall. Carbonation is proper but the toasted malt really leaves a footprint.
Last swigs: Liquid black jelly bean. Maybe too much so. Bold taste that just demands attention rather than attracts it but if I were the brewer for Stone I'd scratch my head every Epic too.
06-21-2006 04:52:49 | More by blitheringidiot
4.28/5 rDev +7.5%
This beer poured a dark brown/black body with a tan head.
Nose is in your face belgian dark ale. Dark rich chocolate, phenols, caramel, brown sugar, candy sugar, woody tree bark, natural roots, spices, and mild touches of anise.
Taste is full bodied at first and rolls over the tongue in a waves of flavors ending surprisingly lighter. Dark malts, caramel, chocolate, toast and hints of dark wheat. Chooclate coverd cherries, bubble gum and mild hints of smoke. Rough around the edges with a course taste. There's a numbing anise flavor from beginning to end. Hop taste is there and finds a nice middle ground between big american ale and belgian trappist. Enough bitterness to hold it's own without being over the top. Hop taste is earthy and is slightly overpowered by the spice flavor. That or maybe it is the hops. Either way, it's not your typical floral or earthy notes. Ends with a lingering anise flavor.
Another fantastic year from Stone VE series. This is one that seems taylor made for aging. It's seriously rough around the edges right now, but the style with the big hop backbone is made to be drunk in 6 years. It should be really interesting to see this mellow and yet maintain a bite.
06-18-2006 23:47:51 | More by taez555
4.35/5 rDev +9.3%
Appearance: dark with a brown head. looks great
Smell: rum cake, hazelenut, malts, chocolate.
Taste: dark malts with hints of raisin, dark fruit, and hazelnut.
Mouthfeel: mildly thick and somewhat chewy.
Drinkability: Goes down easy for its strength.
Overall a really good darl ale
06-17-2006 18:37:42 | More by maek228
4.5/5 rDev +13.1%
Pours a black-amberwith a one finger tan head that melted slowly to thik sticky lacing.
Aroma is sweet....roasted dark malts, ripe banana, dark fruits, heavy spices like cloves, and a hint of pine or spruce.
Taste is thick sweet prune juice initially followed with a roasty malt flavor then raisins and dark fruits with over-ripe banana at the end. Again, a slight pine in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is really rich and creamy.
Aftertaste is ripe banana and dark fruits.
Very enjoyable brew that is still a little rough around the edges but will balance nicely in time...enough so that I am going to buy a case for cellaring. I mention banana a lot in my review but it is a dark over-ripe banana that melds beautifully with the other dark fruit and roasted flavors. A lot of reviewers are calling this bubblegum, but to me it is much warmer and softer than bubblegum. The spruce and spice presence I sense reminds me of a Christmas dubbel begium beer.
I like it and the slow warming alcohol is making me like this more and more.
Revisit Aug 25th...
Not that much cellaring, I agree, but flavors are mellowing and blending incredibly well.
"Belgium" aspects are much more apparent this time around.
Aroma is still distinctively alcohol based, however the flavors have really balanced and blended to the point where the alcohol is definately secondary...maybe even 'thirdendary'.
Good stuff...I'm buying more to cellar for later...and later...and later.
This might be worth buying a bottle a week and just hiding it.
06-16-2006 02:56:20 | More by IntriqKen
Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.